Key general education policies and guides

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A range of government policies and guides outline how schools and other education providers should work to maximise the opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities.

On this page:

We explain relevant information for parents and carers from all of these policies and guides throughout Learning Together. Here we summarise key education policies and guides, with links you can follow to read the documents yourself.

Welcome to Primary School: A Parent’s Guide to Victorian Government Primary Schools

This guide aims to help families with the transition from pre-school to primary school. It includes a range of general information about schools, including: getting ready for school, the prep year, how schools work, the AusVELS (see below), school reports, getting involved at school, student wellbeing, support services and financial assistance.

In reference to students with a disability, the guide says:

The Victorian Government is committed to the delivery of an inclusive education system that ensures all children have access to a quality education that meets their individual needs. To improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities, the following strategies are in place:

  • providing parents with the choice of learning environments that best develop their child’s potential
  • supporting children and their families in making the transition from preschool to school, from primary to secondary school, and from school to higher education, training and employment
  • involving children and parents in programming and planning decisions through a Student Support Group
  • supporting children to access programs that allow them to pursue achievable pathways
  • ensuring that the expertise of professionals working in mainstream and special schools is maintained and developed through professional learning

The Program for Students with Disabilities is an additional program for a defined student population with moderate to severe disabilities. The Program for Students with Disabilities supports the education of students with disabilities in Victorian government schools by providing schools with additional resources.

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Welcome to Secondary School: A Parent’s Guide to Victorian Government Schools

This guide to the transition from primary to secondary school includes information about: choosing a school, helping your child cope with the changes from primary to secondary school, the curriculum and reporting, homework, work experience and school leaving options, student wellbeing, support services and financial assistance.

According to the guide:

Victorian government schools are committed to ensuring that all students have access to a quality education to meet their individual needs.

To improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities, Victorian government secondary schools:

  • provide parents with a choice of learning environments to best develop their child’s potential
  • support students and their families in making the transition from school to higher education, training and employment
  • involve students and parents in school program planning decisions
  • support students to access programs that allow them to pursue achievable post-school pathways
  • ensure that the expertise of professionals working in mainstream and specialist schools is maintained and developed.

Schools enrolling students with disabilities may also be eligible to receive additional student resources from the Victorian Government.

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School Policy and Advisory Guide

This major government resource for schools contains information about and links to all policies related to running a school. It is useful for parents and carers, because it gives an indication of the expectations on government schools in relation to a wide range of areas, including curriculum, school facilities and buildings, finance, staffing, management, the school community, student health, student participation and student safety.

Relevant policies include the:

  • Student Engagement Policy (including discipline and behaviour management, Student Support Groups, Suspensions and Expulsions) – see our Tools and resources section for excerpts of particularly useful sections of this policy.
  • Student Health Policy (including policies related to complex care needs, personal care, medication, transferring and positioning and management of health records),
  • Student Support Services Guidelines, which outline how schools should use Student Support Services staff and resources within the DET offices to support students with a disability.

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AusVELS – the Australian Essential Learning Standards in Victoria

The AusVELS provide a framework for curriculum and the measurement of student learning for all levels from Foundation (or ‘Prep’) to Year 12 in Victorian government schools. Launched in 2013, the AusVELS are the integration of the Australian Essential Learning Standards with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS).

Refer to key disability policies and guides for links related to how the AusVELS can be adjusted for students with disabilities.

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Addressing parents concerns and complaints effectively: policy and guides

This document provides a framework for schools’ and DET’s processes to address all parents’ and carers’ concerns or complaints about their children’s education. Learning Together is the counterpart, for families, of this key schools resource.

The schools resource includes information on the laws underpinning the policy, expectations on schools and families in raising and addressing complaints, a flow diagram illustrating the main complaints process, DET’s expectations of schools in addressing complaints, the role of DET offices in helping resolve complaints, and possible outcomes of complaints.

The resource also includes a lengthy section advising schools on what to include in their complaints policy, and advising staff on approaches to take in addressing families’ concerns and complaints. It includes topics aiming to help school leadership improve their skills and approach to resolving conflicts with parents and carers, including: ‘Building positive relationships’, ‘Improving your listening skills, ‘Moving beyond a stalemate’, ‘Responding to strong emotions’ and ‘Being calm in a high-stress situation’.

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